The Reading: Matthew 24:36-44
“Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (v. 42) RSV
Sometimes we believe God has promised that something will happen and yet its fulfilment is delayed. Noah believed that God had foretold that there would be a worldwide flood. He used the waiting period to the greatest effect. He built theArkthat God had instructed him to build.
He spent a lot of time and money investing in the future. Until the rain fell his boat would have stood out like a white elephant in the desert! His neighbours would have mocked him for being so impracticable, meantime carrying on with their normal daily life; eating, drinking and being merry. They were marrying and carrying on their worldly business (v.38).
Now, none of the things they were doing was evil. Sin is not necessarily living an evil life, but it is living a life independent of God. It is living life our own way without bringing glory to God. The chief purpose of life (and the reason for which God created us) is to “glorify God and to enjoy him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism). Noah’s neighbours were living without reference to their Maker. Now, Noah himself was not a perfect man. In fact the story of his life after the flood is somewhat unsavoury. (Gen. 9:20-24) However, what was far more important was his trust and obedience before his God. Despite mockery and expense and effort he carried on and built the Ark. He geared his life to what God said, and to the long term. The result was not only his own salvation but that of his family and multitudes of God’s creatures.
If we are not to be tempted to live only for the present and to be absorbed in daily life, then let us follow Noah and listen to God’s Word. Let us invest in the long term future, not in this life only but also the next.
Forgive me Lord when I don’t listen to you and when I fail to hear your warnings. Give me a listening ear. Amen.
1 Who else waited like Noah did?
1 Peter 3:19-20
2 What was Noah’s saving grace?